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All you’ll need for this workout is a bench! Be sure to bring the intensity because while this circuit is short, it’s challenging! Your abs will be burning. The cardio will kick your booty. BUT, it’s all worth it!

lauren gleisberg doing an ab and cardio circuit workout


Yesterday, I wrote THIS post on 6 Super Simple Ways I Motivate Myself to Workout. One thing I totally forgot to mention is another tip I have on easing back into a fitness routine when you’ve taken time away. Because…. we’ve all been there. 

It may be a week away for vacation, a few days off when life gets hectic or you may not even be able to remember the last time you saw a gym… ease back in with a short workout. The thought of spending an hour or more at a gym will likely keep you from going when you’re low on motivation. So, just commit to a 20 minute workout.

The workout I’m sharing today is one you can complete in 20 minutes! It’s also so intense, I didn’t want to do more than 20 minutes lol. I’m a big believer in the quality of a workout over the length of time!



30 seconds: scissor kicks + butt ups

30 seconds: bench hop overs

1 minute: complete rest

30 seconds: knee in + outs

30 seconds: step up hops

1 minute: complete rest

30 seconds: decline toe taps

30 seconds: incline mountain climbers

1 minutes: complete rest

…complete 3 total rounds

I hope you like this circuit. I think I’m going to start sharing more workouts of varying lengths. AND, eventually, my OCD-loving self would love to organize workouts on my website not only by targeted muscle but also by the length of time. For example: 20 mins, 30, mins, 45 mins, 1 hour. Would you find that helpful? Let me know in the comments! Any other way you’d like to see them arranged??

Cardio & Ab Circuit (+video demo)

This workout was the perfect combination of challenging and fun. Guys, this is my new gym! As you know I was on the hunt for a smaller gym and the outdoor workout area seen in this video totally sold me. 


20 secs – toe taps

5 reps – wall balls (without the wall in my case)

5 reps – med ball burpee slams

5 reps – hanging side leg raises (each side)

5 reps- hanging leg raises 

…complete 8-10 rounds

Join in on the Calendar Fitness Plan…

workout fitness plan for summer by blogger lauren Gleisberg




1. Download the Calendar – click the download here link (don’t just save the picture; the PDF will provide a clearer image)

2. Save – I suggest saving a copy to your phone (I like to copy it to iBooks) and printing another (I’m old school and love a hard copy lol, anyone else?!)

3. Have Your Plans Ready – the calendar uses both the LG Sisters Get Strong & 30×30 Fat Loss Shred plans with a few new workouts I’ll post on the blog. Break out those plans if you already have them and if not, snag them while they’re on sale!

4. Follow Along Day by Day – each day, check the calendar and do the suggested workout from either the ebook guides or the new workout right here on the blog. It’s that easy! Well, that easy to follow along… the workouts are another story lol.  


3 Reasons Why Your Workouts AREN’T Working

This post is for the gal feeling frustrated right now. I want to help get you un-stuck, feeling confident with your workout plan and seeing results. 

Let me also say one thing… your workouts ARE working. If your workout is helping you clear your mind, it’s working. If your workout is helping you feel better about yourself, it’s working. If you are training simply because you love it, it’s working.

However, I want to help you take all of that one step further. This post is intended to help those who feel they’ve hit a plateau or who aren’t seeing the physical results they’re working so hard for. I’ve been in this game for almost a decade; I know very well that there are phases in which I’m all about hitting a certain physical goal and other phases where I simply am interested in working out to keep myself sane (read this post if the latter is more your current mood).

Anyways, you know I’m all about results inside and out. I talk so much about how to use health and fitness as a foundation for feeling great and creating a life you love. BUT, we also feel great when we are achieving goals. So, here are 3 things I know will help you hit your physical goals more effectively. 

Let’s set the scene (one I have been stuck in too!):

You’re working out almost every day. For a solid hour! You’re killing it. You finish each workout a sweaty mess. As far a nutrition goes, you’re eating healthy! You meal prep. You bring a nutritious meal to work. You feel great about everything you’re doing. But, you can’t help but feel frustrated that those last few pounds aren’t coming off. And, why can’t you see that muscle definition that you know you’re building?!

I’ve been there, girl! I know 3 things that really helped me and if you implement them, they’ll help you too!


Let’s start with the easiest tweak you can make… your training split. This is nearly an effortless step. Your training split is also known as your workout schedule. It’s the schedule of what muscle group or groups you are training each day. It doesn’t seem like a place anything could go wrong, right?! Wrong. 

This is common mistake I see so many women making (again, I use “mistake” as a term for those ladies who are specifically looking to get fit while shedding body fat). It’s also how I started my workout journey. Here it is… you don’t have any strategy for how and when you train specific muscle groups. Maybe you do cardio followed by some random weighted workouts. Or, possibly you’re doing total body workouts.

The reason why we need to get strategic with this this is because in order for us to sculpt our muscles, we must give each specific muscle sufficient attention. These are all of the muscle groups I target: biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, chest, legs, glutes. abs and calves. When you see my challenge and plan workouts, you’ll notice we have days like Back + Biceps or Shoulders + Glutes.

Here’s a training split sample I love:

Monday: Legs

Tuesday: Chest + Triceps

Wednesday: HIIT Cardio + Abs 

Thursday: Back + Biceps

Friday: Shoulders + Glutes

Saturday: Liss + Abs

Sunday: Rest

You’ll notice with this split, only 2 (maybe some days 3) muscle groups are targeted each day. Also, in a given week, each muscle group gets sufficiently worked. 


You know how it goes… when we workout (especially with weights), we cause tiny tears in our muscle cells. When we rest and eat well, we allow those muscle cells to repair themselves, growing back stronger (=results). Now, this process isn’t guaranteed. It actually take a lot of work to achieve that! I’m someone who doesn’t just put on muscle easily… that’s the case for most women. I have to work hard to put on muscle because of this process that I described. So, how do we workout in order to cause muscle breakdown?

First, we have to work each muscle to a deep enough extent. We start this through a strategic training split. When we choose just 1-3 muscle groups per day, we allow for a sufficient amount of sets per muscle group. A general rule of thumb I use is that each muscle group gets 3 exercises for 3 sets per exercise. For example, if I train biceps, I make sure to include 3 bicep exercises (minimum) and complete 3 sets of each of those 3 bicep exercises. That’s step one!

Second, we must ensure we are lifting intensely enough to cause muscle breakdown. This most often comes in the form of weight. There’s nothing wrong with using 3 lb. dumbbells, but as a place to start! Our muscles are strong as is and require a lot of added weight to really be worked to the point of muscle breakdown. It’s up to us to bring the intensity to our workouts, so be sure you’re lifting heavy.


This is textbook Lauren Gleisberg circa 2008. Train every day! Leave the gym feeling great! Follow it up by swinging through the Culver’s drive through for a butter burger and custard. For too long, I attempted to out train a poor diet. I thought it would even out, right?! Wrong.

Fast forward to Lauren Gleisberg 2010 and I was doing what most women do and why many find themselves stuck. General healthy eating. I ate well. I meal prepped. And, I was even consistent. Still, not the results I really wanted, specifically that muscle definition and strong/lean appearance.

Here’s what I learned… general healthy eating doesn’t automatically get you physical results. When I learned about macronutrients (not counting macros, rather about the macros themselves), I realized there was a strategy we could use implement to see results through food alone. 

Protein – the macronutrient most responsible for satiety aka the state of feeling full. High protein meals help keep us satisfied and curb cravings. It’s also the macro especially important for building muscle! I aim for a nice serving of protein at every meal. 

Fat – there’s so much to be said for healthy fats (like heart health and brain functioning). They’re great is so many ways, but my favorite benefit is the fats slow down the rate of digestion. This is important in regulating blood sugar levels and keeping fat from storing on our bodies.

Carbohydrates – carbs are so far from being “the enemy.” In fact, they are so helpful at building muscle and reducing fat. With carbs, it’s all about timing! They’re best utilized around our workouts and least necessary at the end of the day.

I can’t stress enough how important this is. It wasn’t until I changed my food habits that I actually saw the results I always wanted. I want that for you too, so I really suggest focusing your efforts here!

It may seem a tad overwhelming, but don’t let it be. If this is where you may think you’re stuck, I highly suggest my Eat Your Way Lean Meal Plan which will lay all of this out for you with 3 simple guidelines to follow. It’s 15% off during the 3 day sale, so enjoy that discount if you’d like. And, I’m always here if you have questions!!


Quick and effective aren’t typically two words we would put together in a fitness sentence, but with the description of this ab workout, we will! You know I’m a science nerd, so in this post, I want to share the why behind this approach because I believe when we understand why something works we are so much more likely to give it a try and stick with it. Also, fitness is about training smarter not harder. If we can achieve results in less time, it’s worth a try!

About the Workout:

This ab workout focuses on one main thing… the time under tension also known as TUT. Time under tension refers to the length of time a muscle is under strain during a set. Let’s create an example…

Set #1: you complete 10 crunches and each crunch takes you 2 seconds to complete… TUT = 20 seconds.

Set #2: you slow down the exercise by counting 1 second as you crunch you body in and counting 3 seconds as you extend your body out of the crunch for a total of 4 seconds to complete 1 rep. You complete 10 total reps at 4 seconds each rep… TUT = 40 seconds.

Comparing these two examples, while we completed the exact same number of reps, in set #2, we spent 2x as much time under tension.

Why it’s Effective:

Personally, I believe a lot of methods are effective. I believe methods are most effective when they are cycled. Unfortunately, we don’t always learn new methods or even if we do, we forget to apply them. Luckily for you, that’s why I’m here! I’ll help remind you (or bug you hehe) to try all sorts of new approaches.

Most of us think of core training as quick bursts of energy within ab exercises. You fly fast from side to side in a bicycle crunch or contract quickly in a sit up. Instead, the effectiveness of this approach comes from spending a significant amount of time under tension without rest.

Studies (like this one) have showed the effectiveness of muscle time under tension. Get how cool this is… in their experiment, they had participants train each of their two legs in two different styles. On one leg, participants completed reps of 12 secons per reps of leg extensions and on the other leg, those same participants completed the same number of reps but took only 2 seconds per rep. Protein synthesis on the cellular level can be measured as an indication of muscle growth. Researches took measurements of protein synthesis in these participants after training and found that on the leg that spent more time under tension, protein synthesis rates elevated sooner than and to a higher degree as compared to the leg that completed reps of 2 seconds. How awesome!

Clearly, the amount of time under tension during exercises makes a difference, especially in muscle hypertrophy aka how we see what we call “results.”

The Workout:

We will cycle through 4 abdominal exercise. The exercises themselves aren’t as important as the overall approach. In these 4 exercises you will keep your hands behind your neck/head as a support! Keep from pulling on your neck. As we complete 30 seconds of each exercise (as the standard workout… there are modifications below), the key is to move from one movement right into the next without stopping. As you transition, do not allow your ab muscles to relax and do not rest your neck and head on the ground throughout the entire workout.

I want to stress again… the time under tension approach comes from you not allowing your ab muscles to relax and you not allowing your head and neck to rest on the ground! It will only take you 2 minutes to complete this.. push through! It’s worth it!

My Tip – use your music as your guide. Pick your favorite song, fast forward until the screen shows a total of 2 minutes remaining in the song, hit play and GO with these exercises until the song stops. Just guess when 30 seconds has passed to move onto the next exercise. If you finish all 4 before your song stops, just keep going! Only stop when your song stops.





Beginner + Advanced Modifications:

Standard – 30 seconds each exercise, 2 minutes total

Beginner – 15 seconds each exercise, 1 minute toal

Advanced – 30 seconds each exercise, 2 minutes total, 2-3 rounds


If you’re participating in the Summer Fitcation Challenge, today’s workout is Cardio + Abs. Instead of the scheduled ab workout, try out this one!


Guess what? To make things more user-friendly for you, I created a workout summary you can save to your phone and/or print!!!


Booty Sculpting HIIT Cardio & Abs

Add this cardio workout in this weekend to keep up the intensity:
#LGSummerFitcation Phase 3, Week 2A
Daily Workout: Shoulders, Triceps & Calves Circuit
Today’s workout is found in Fit For Life (home workouts – page 20)   
& Total Body Transformation (gym workouts – page 19) 

What is #LGSummerFitcation? Read more here  

Tip of the Day: Finish strong and stay in the moment. We have just two weeks left of the 12 week long Summer Fitcation fitness program. Summer is flying by, but it’s so important that we stay present on today and the choices we can make to become healthier, happier versions of ourselves. Do you ever get to focused on “what’s next” that you forget to finish dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s?! I certainly know that feeling…I’m always looking for the next thing to keep me motivated and going. While that’s important, it’s also just as beneficial to finish strong to provide a firm foundation to take that next step. I promise you that if you push hard and give these next two weeks your all, you’ll be so thankful that you have a solid platform to begin our next fitness challenge ((so many exciting details to come on that, find the spoiler here))

Check In: Stay
accountable by uploading your workout, meal, challenge and/or lifestyle
pics to Instagram; inspire and be inspired by the community. Use our
hashtags #LGAccountability #LGSummerFitcation #LGMealPlan
#LGSweatSeshSelfie & tag me @laurengleisberg so we can all connect.  
Don’t forget to leave love on other community members’ photos!

JOIN #LGSummerFitcation HERE:
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motivation, tips, workouts, recipes, promotions & more direct to
your inbox to help you reach your health & fitness goals:

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Shoulders (#LGFitmas Day 5) – 11/27

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Thoughtful Thursday Tip: I’m someone who only finds value in something if I can really understand why it is valuable, so I hope these tips will help you in the same way! I’m always looking for new ways to up the benefits of weight training; during upper body workouts, I know a lot of us struggle to elevate our heart rate and achieve that “great workout feeling.”

So, let’s talk T-A-B-A-T-A! Tabata is effective because it is a form of interval training, which will rev up our metabolisms and heart rates within seconds. Because the exercises are performed at a high intensity, it forces the body to work harder; this something someone wanting to lose fat can benefit from as the body will be burning fat for hours after the workout ((you can read more about how this is so on this post)).

Another huge reason as to why tabata is great is because it activates fast and super-fast twitch muscle fibers. Our bodies have 3 types of muscle fibers: slow, fast, and super-fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch muscles are the red muscles, activated during strength training and cardio; fast and super-fast twitch muscles are the white muscles that engage during high intensity exercises, such as tabata. Tabata and interval training work both the aerobic and anerobic processes, which provides optimal cardiovascular benefits!

Day 5 Challenge: The attitude of gratitude is not just something that can help you today, rather everyday. In the words of Oprah, “the more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Share with the community some people, places, or things you’re grateful for!
Instagram Check In: 
accountable! Upload your workout, meal and challenge pictures to
Instagram to inspire and be inspired by the community. Use the hashtags
#LGFitmas #LGAccountability, and/or #LGSweatSeshSelfie and tag me,
@laurengleisberg so we can all connect!

Click below for more information:

Cardio Bootcamp (#LGFitmas Day 4) – 11/26

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When your fiancé interrupts your workout selfie session to pay you a compliment & a kiss, that image makes the final cut! This workout wasn’t a typical one of mine, but I wanted to challenge myself to some sort of outdoor workout that combined HIIT (high intensity interval training) and LISS (low intensity steady state). 
Top & Pants: Lululemon
Workout Wednesday Tip: “How many days per week do you do cardio” is a pretty popular question in the fitness world. As you know, my approach to healthy living is to keep it as balanced and enjoyable as possible; I also use my educational background and 8 years of training experience to provide you with the most efficient solutions. If that is the type of approach you would like to take as well, then here is my answer to the above question….get in some form of cardio 5 days per week BUT ((and it’s a bigggg but hehe)) not one of those days needs to be a “cardio only” day. Cardiovascular training, by definition, is one that elevates the heart rate for an extended period of time. When you understand that definition, you can begin to apply “cardio” in many different ways…many fun ways! Our heart rate is elevated during workouts, such as weight training. Weight training also has major benefits, such as shaping the body and increasing muscle mass ((and we all know muscle acts as a calorie burner simply by existing)). For that reason, I primarily focus on weight training and when I do cardio days, I implement movements such as the ones above that have more benefits that simply walking or running would!
Day 4 Challenge: This cardio workout also challenged your core strength; in my opinion, the plank is the best test of the overall strength of your midsection, so I challenge you to plank your heart out and record your record time. Next week, we will attempt to beat this! Show me your mid-plank #LGSweatSeshSelfie 😉
Instagram Check In: 
Stay accountable! Upload your workout, meal and challenge pictures to Instagram to inspire and be inspired by the community. Use the hashtags #LGFitmas #LGAccountability, and/or #LGSweatSeshSelfie and tag me, @laurengleisberg so we can all connect!


Legs (#LGFitmas Day 2) – 11/24

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My #LGSweatSessionSelfie – this combination of foundational weight training movements and bodyweight plyometrics is my favorite for achieving a fit, yet lean look! 
Top: TJ Maxx // Pants: Lululemon // Shoes: Nike Frees

Motivation Monday: Each day has the potential to be a positive, great one despite what the world gives you. A powerful way to get your day started on a positive note is through a mantra or affirmation. A mantra or affirmation is a short phrase or sentence that helps remind you of how to focus your energy on the positive and exude the negative. Some people like to come up with one personal mantra that they repeat throughout the day while others prefer to use a plethora of mantras for particular situations. Either way, be sure the mantras you select speak to you and can help shift your thinking!

You may be wondering how this can help you reach your health and fitness goals. The truth is, the majority of healthy living is a mental game…it requires willpower, discipline, and inner strength to consistently choose health food options over junk, to get yourself to the gym each day, and to put in the effort even when you don’t feel as though it’s paying off. If we can better master our mind over the next 5 weeks, we can accomplish what we set out to do! Let’s get our minds right!

If you’re having a hard time getting started and thinking of a mantra to use, 
I’ve included some that help me begin a bright, positive day…

Day 2 Challenge: Pick a mantra(s) and post it! You can create a wallpaper for you phone or computer. You can write on post-its and stick them around your home and car. Write them out/Print them/Post them! Then show us your mantra on your check in!

Instagram Check In: 
Stay accountable! Upload your workout, meal and challenge pictures to Instagram to inspire and be inspired by the community. Use the hashtags #LGFitmas #LGAccountability, and/or #LGSweatSeshSelfie and tag me, @laurengleisberg so we can all connect!

Click below for more information:

Back & Biceps – 10/21

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#LGAccountability Check In: Stay
accountable! Upload your workout & meal pictures to Instagram to
inspire and be inspired by the community. Use the hashtag
#LGAccountability, #LGSweatSeshSelfie, your team hashtag and tag me,
@laurengleisberg so we can all connect!

Tip of the Day: As we head into the weekend, especially the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving (in the United States), you may find yourself enjoying a treat or indulgent meal. First off, I’m telling you it’s okay! If you’re looking to achieve and sustain lasting results, then keeping your eating habits nonrestrictive and balanced is key. The mistake I see individuals make is that they skip meals to “make up” for overeating. I’m sure I’m not the first person you’ve heard say this isn’t a good idea, but, personally, I only believe something if I can understand the science behind why it’s not a smart decision.

When we overeat ((even just one meal or one day)), our bodies will store the excess calories as body fat; our bodies do so because this can then be tapped into for an energy source when needed, and science/physiology shows our bodies function to conserve as much energy as possible. We may think that if we skip the next meal, our bodies will tap into that recent fat storage and burn it off. Instead, our bodies respond to the sudden restriction in calories by slowing down the metabolism to further conserve energy as no food for fuel is provided. Further, skipping meals may lead to cravings and further binge eating. 

So, how should we handle overeating? It’s simple….enjoy your treat, then jump right back into your normal eating schedule.

You know there’s nothing I like more on a Friday than a Flex Friday picture, but what you may not know is that I enjoy it because it represents strength that we learn to develop. Everyone who has gotten somewhere once had to take the difficult first step as a beginner. Here are some of my pictures from just 1/5-2 years ago; what I love most is that these now “before” pictures were once my “after” pictures. No matter where you start, you can get to wherever you want to be!

Click below for more information:

Push Up Circuit (Shoulders, Triceps & Chest) – 11/20

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#LGAccountability Check In: Stay accountable! Upload your workout & meal pictures to Instagram to inspire and be inspired by the community. Use the hashtag #LGAccountability, #LGSweatSeshSelfie, your team hashtag and tag me, @laurengleisberg so we can all connect!

Tip of the Day:  Magnesium may be the answer! Achy muscles are a common side effect of weight training, especially for someone who trains only on occasion or someone who is new to this type of exercise. Similarly, you may know tension headaches all to well due to tense head and neck muscles. I’m a big fan of Epsom salt baths to help relieve sore muscles, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that food rich in magnesium could help as well! Magnesium, the relaxing mineral, helps muscles relax by pulling calcium out of muscle cells. You can see that when magnesium levels in the body are low, it can lead to constantly tense muscles as calcium is locked in muscle fibers. Magnesium can be found naturally in foods such as nuts, spinach, and beans. You can read more (here) for recommended daily values. 

Is anyone else a bit matchy matchy when it comes to workout clothes?? I thought I would share with you my 3 layers that just had to match my pants 😉

Sports Bra: Lululemon // Tank: Lululemon // Sweatshirt: Lucy // Pants: Forever 21 // Shoes: Asics

Click below for more information: